The first season of Fox’s “The Passage,” which comes to a close with a two-hour finale on Monday, has focused on the complicated relationship between its human characters and the blood-drinking “virals” they have created — also referred to on (and off) screen as vampires because of the obvious connection there.
And though the dangerous race of beings featured on the drama — based on Justin Cronin’s best-selling trilogy of the same name — weren’t created the old fashion way, but instead via a virus manufactured within the walls of Project NOAH, that doesn’t stop “The Passage” characters (or fans at home) from using the traditional moniker for a bloodsucker when talking about their enemy.
Vincent Piazza — who plays Project NOAH’s head of security, Clark Richards — shared his thoughts about the show’s sense of humor when it comes to the vampire myth. (See: his character calling the deadly virus the “vampire flu.”)
“There’s a reason why it keeps coming back, right?” Piazza told us, referring to pop culture’s obsession with vampires. “You know, it’s an iconic, scary thing that is also, in a very funny, way so rooted in history with the stories of Dracula in Romania, Transylvania, where these things originated from. But I personally love the way the show handles it, because the characters express this awareness while they are trying to stick with their professionalism and their science and their occupation. They can come at it and go, ‘Yeah, these things are like vampires.’ So I just appreciate the self awareness of it.”
But outside of “The Passage” vampires — er, virals, Piazza does have a special stake in his heart for other on-screen bloodsuckers, particularly those from one ’90s flick.
“One of my favorite takes on vampires was ‘Interview With the Vampire,'” he said. “That was a fun movie for me. But we keep going back to it because they are fun and I also think that Justin Cronin’s take on them in the novel was something refreshing and brings them into a very now kind of thing, there is more immediacy to being an vampire in this.”
We also spoke with Piazza’s co-star Emmanuelle Chriqui — who plays Brad’s (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) wife Dr. Lila Kyle — who has similar tastes in Hollywood’s take on the undead.
“I would say that my sort of first introduction that I loved and was blown away by was ‘Interview With the Vampire,’ with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise,” Chriqui said. “I loved, loved that movie. And then I was super late to the game with other stuff. I ended up watching ‘True Blood’ last year and I binged it hard. But I think at the end of the day, whether you’re talking about vampires or virals or whatever, it’s all about story for me. I just need to be invested in the stories and the characters and that’s just really what it comes down to.”
Luckily for Chriqui, tonight’s Season 1 finale of “The Passage” is all about the characters and a whole lot of action.
“Everything is literally on the edge of your seat and second to second,” the actress told us. “That is what I feel like Episode 9 captured so well, that everything is hanging on by seconds.”
And we can tell you — having seen both Episode 9 and 10, that will air back-to-back this evening — that is for sure the case.
The two-hour Season 1 finale of “The Passage” airs tonight, Monday, at 8/7c on Fox.